All Shook Up
Near misses -- and one major upset -- have everyone's hands trembling and bottom lips quivering.
Sam's body is discovered, charred and dismembered, and now Annalise is a prime suspect. So what does she do to take her mind off things? She takes on a mob-related drug case for a longtime client (one who thought "chocolate and Italian wine always pair well together" was a smooth line to drop on a recent widow). But while she grasps at any distraction from her quickly unraveling life, Sam's sister keeps her eyes on the prize. The interns can do nothing but stare at the local news and wait around for the cops to come and arrest them. (Why'd they choose Wes's spot as their headquarters? Surely everyone else has a nicer apartment.) They think their days are numbered, Hannah's pretty certain she's got a handle on everything, and even Bonnie's starting to get wise. But they all get blindsided by what ultimately hits the fan.
Being officially suspected of her husband's murder doesn't slow down Super Solicitor. While a CSI squad is combing her house, her entire crew is fearfully resorting to using burners to communicate, and her world is effectively crumbling all around her, Annalise is strapping on her court wig and handling biz. "Is this a joke?!" Connor asks, echoing my exact sentiments. But hey; the checks don't stop just because Sam's life did! Annalise argues for her client so vehemently and with such a motormouth that the courtroom gives her a standing ovation (was that judge's gavel in the shop?).
As for her own flaming inferno of a situation at home? Well, like she tells her class -- during a 5th Amendment lecture there's no way she should've been allowed to give -- "When in doubt, shut your mouth." Aside from a few choice quips like "Incest is best; put your brother to the test," hurled at Hannah, she's talking seldom and plotting incessantly. That is, until the episode's end, when she's in bed, blubbering on the phone and begging for her mama. There's only so much dirt you can do before you need some maternal absolution (also, maybe, a homemade pie).
She hates her some Annalise! The minute the cops come knocking with the report of death, Hannah flies into "Arrest her. She killed him. Arrest her, dammit!" When she doesn't get the satisfaction she craves, she checks her uncharacteristic hysteria and returns to good ol' quiet cunning. Her unflappability is pretty much everything. She works every angle available to her -- from appealing to the interns' sense of professional self-preservation to planting the seeds of doubt in the detective's mind. If it hadn't been for that whole "brother murdering" unadulterated loathing thing between them, I'd say she and Annalise would make a good Cagney & Lacey-type duo…but with better clothes.
Annalise correctly labels him a "worrier." That's why his eyes are wet and worried the entire episode and he's got those red splotches pale folk get from being too long on the verge of bawling. Connor's cagier than all get-out, which is why he has no compunction about telling the group he distrusts Annalise and suspects she'll turn on them. Then, when confronted, he flat-out tells her as much to her face. He's so much more cynical and sane than everyone else on this doomed path (save perhaps for Laurel), I wonder why he hasn't hopped a one-way international flight by now.
She starts off in snivel mode, convulsing on Annalise's kitchen floor. Sam's dead, her boss won't let her in her inner circle of trust, she boned Asher…what else could go wrong for Bonnie? Thankfully, she breaks up the pity party and puts her thinking cap on. This is a relief, because bitchy Bonnie is the only Bonnie worth watching. Once she's on the same page as everyone else about the murder, she hits Annalise with the kind of real talk that proves Connor's right to freak out. "You didn't do this, they did. Don't let them ruin you." The tone in her voice when she says that…um, boss lady might want to be a bit nicer to Bonnie because underestimating her might prove to be a fatal flaw. (Or maybe Annalise can just sic Frank on her if she starts acting up.)
The fixer's finest act of subterfuge is revealed. Frank is behind the episode's big "Oh, word?!" moment, having planted Nate's prints on Sam's wedding ring. Sure, it basically feels like a plot twist for plot twist's sake, but it's a welcome jolt all the same. We still haven't gotten much backstory on Frank to help understand why he's so ride-or-die for Annalise. One thing's clear, though: This dude's conscience is nil. No wonder Laurel's got him so sprung; her having a soul must fascinate him.
She's the only one who takes the mob case seriously, and keeping a level head even helps her hone in on the elusive key witness. Still, Laurel starts to crack, too. She loves fixing things and is reasonably good at it, but her whole "accessory to murder" sitch is kinda one of those things she can't fix. Now that nobody cares about winning that stupid trophy anymore, she's basically reduced to being the most useful of a still very useless bunch. Bonus points, though, for "Just because I'm upset, that doesn't mean you have to comfort me!" That's me, once a month, every month.
Daaang, dawg. Your girl got you locked up! You're cool with that, or what? It remains unclear whether or not Nate's in on Annalise framing him for Sam's murder. If he's truly just playing a role, waiting for her long con to play itself out, then he's the most dedicated/dirt-dumb sidepiece that ever crept.
She almost strokes out when reports of a found ring spread throughout the media's murder coverage. Michaela's presence is solely marked by her desperately, frightfully gasping for air in both interior and exterior shots. That's about it. She looks pretty in pink, though. So, that's nice for her.
Asher, I just don't even know any more. You obtusely munch on pizza and make a couple of lame cracks and you want me to rank you higher than Wesbecca? I just can't do it. Meanwhile, Rebecca gives Wes an out with "If you wanna leave me, you can," yet he doesn't take it. He's too busy obsessing over mystery tenant "Rudy" to know a stellar offer when he hears one. Wes is diving headlong into the whole lost-apartment-dweller thing to help him forget that he's a murderer. Funny, though, 'cuz all he really has to go on is the fact that Rudy's grandma doesn't know his current address. Uh, grannies are great and all, but if we're basing a person's well-being on a grandmother's mental acuity and updated address book, then a lot of us are "missing," too.